FINANCE

Big Lots profit edges up in Q4; 50 stores on tap for fiscal 2013

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots reported Wednesday that net income for the fourth quarter rose to $120.3 million, from $114.7 million in the year-ago period. Sales in the U.S. increased 4.4% to $1.7 billion from $1.6 billion, and domestic same-store sales dipped 3.5%.

For the full year, income from continuing operations dropped to $177.2 million, from $207.2 million in the prior fiscal year. This year’s results included $3.4 million in charges related to new inventory system implementation.

Total sales for the year increased 3.8% to $5.4 billion.

The company said that it plans to open 50 new stores in fiscal 2013, and close 45. In Canada, it will open two to three stores and close a similar number.

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FINANCE

American Eagle Q4 profit nearly doubles, but warns of weaker sales ahead

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Pittsburgh — American Eagle Outfitters Inc. reported Wednesday that profit for the quarter ended Feb. 2 soared to $94.8 million from $51.3 million in the year-ago period, aided by few markdowns.

However, the retailer warned that sales will be weak in the first quarter due to economic restrictions and unfavorable weather.

Sales in the fourth quarter rose to $1.12 billion from $1.03 billion, and same-store sales rose 4%. For the full year, operating income increased 49% to $437 million, and revenue rose 11% to $3.48 billion, a record high for the company. Same-store sales rose 9%.

American Eagle also authorized a 20 million share repurchase program and raised its quarterly dividend 14%.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Overstock.com opens Kentucky warehouse

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Salt Lake City — Overstock.com said Wednesday it has opened a distribution and returns facility in Hebron, Ky., outside Cincinnati.

The facility, the company’s second, will receive product returns and handle outbound shipments. Overstock.com officials say this additional distribution facility will reduce the time for resolution and refunds for customer returns.

The company’s primary warehouse will remain in Salt Lake City.

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